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More City Residents Have Trouble Affording Food

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About 3.1 million New Yorkers are said to have trouble affording food, revealing a sharp increase in recent years, according to a study released Wednesday by the Food Bank for New York City.

The study found the last five years saw a 55 percent increase of city residents having trouble affording food. Rising food prices, higher rents and skyrocketing gas costs are said to have contributed towards the trend.

Some of the most startling statistics from the survey involve middle-income families. From 2003 to 2007, the number of families earning between $50,000 and $75,000 that have trouble affording food increased from 14 percent to 27 percent.

Over the last five years, the number of city residents reporting that food costs were a hardship increased by five times among those making more than $75,000.

“You may ask, how on earth does someone making $75,000 have difficulty affording food?” said Aine Duggan of the Food Bank for NYC. “But add a few children to that household and add a huge rent and huge rent increases and you begin to see how the dollar doesn't stretch.”

“This study today sadly indicates a trend that we're not proud of in the city of New York, and a trend that we want to make sure doesn't become the reality for our five boroughs,” said Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

Quinn said the city needs to work on to enrolling more people in the food stamps program. She estimated a half-million New Yorkers need food assistance but are not getting it.
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